"What would Jesus say to Tiger Woods and Jesse James?" posed the pastor of a Texas megachurch.
Addressing the recent celebrity scandals and adulterous affairs that have been adorning tabloids and magazines for the past several months, Pastor Kerry Shook of Woodlands Church challenged the congregation not to cast any more stones than have already been thrown.
"A lot of people have been throwing rocks at Tiger Woods and Jesse James," Shook said, alluding to the New Testament account of the adulterous woman the Pharisees wanted to have stoned.
"I'm not going to pick up another stone and add to what's happening here," he said Sunday, noting the gossip and water cooler talk surrounding the scandals.
Shook, author of bestselling book One Month to Live, began a message series earlier this month titled "Sacred," teaching the thousands at his megachurch about treating what is uniquely valuable as uniquely valuable rather than common.
Sexual intimacy is one of those gifts that seems to have lost its sacredness in society today, he noted.
"Most people treat God's sacred gift of sexual intimacy as common, casual, no big deal when God says it's to be treated as an uncommon, beautiful, wonderful, valuable, sacred gift in the marriage relationship," said Shook.
While sexual intimacy within marriage is beautiful and for the couple's enjoyment, outside of marriage it is destructive, the pastor pointed out.
Answering the curious question raised at the start of his sermon, Shook said, "I think Jesus would say to Tiger Woods and Jesse James and to me and to you 'I don't condone your sin. In fact, your sin is the reason why I had to go to a cross and die an excruciatingly painful and humiliating death on a Roman cross.
"'But I don't condemn you. I offer you forgiveness.'"
Famed golfer Woods and James, who builds custom motorcycles and is married to actress Sandra Bullock, have been on the hot seat since shocking allegations of infidelity surfaced. Each celebrity has allegedly had a number of mistresses and divorce is reportedly looming for both.
Amid the ongoing reports and public interest in the stories, Shook chose to address the matter for his message on "Sacred Love and Sex."
"What better way to show God's relevance than to pick something that's on the front page of every tabloid in America," the Woodlands pastor commented in a statement.
Before being quick to judge the celebrities, Shook reminded the congregation that all sin is sin to God, whether it is physically acted out or not.
"We always judge these ... outward sins that are so salacious," he said. "Everybody gossips; ... it makes us feel better about ourselves. But the sins of the heart (i.e. lust) are just as destructive, Jesus says."
"There are different consequences for different sins. There's no doubt," he noted. "The sins that these two guys have committed are really bringing about some terrible consequences, especially for their families and for themselves.
"[But] we can't compare ourselves. It keeps us from working on issues in our own lives."
"I just hope that we understand that every one of us need to work on our own lives," he underlined.
Addressing the general crowd, Shook preached on the readiness of God to forgive.
"Whenever you commit adultery or a sin like that that hurts, destroys marriage, you come to God and ask for forgiveness. He forgives instantly and He starts restoring your life instantly," Shook preached. "But it takes time to build trust back."
"We need to come to God for forgiveness because we're all sinners."
Woodlands Church is a multi-site church with more than 16,000 weekly attendees.